Done is better than perfect1.
Or finished is better than perfect2.
Or perfectly imperfect3!
I’ve heard all of these expressions in the last week and they have rung true for me. Just yesterday I finished listening to the audiobook of Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and can highly recommend it. I was also listening to the latest Modern Sewciety podcast with Christa Watson and she had some great insight into this topic.
Just to say – it’s better to have accomplished something, anything, than wait till all is just right, before starting.
This is certainly true in the crafting world. I can spend so much time looking around Pinterest and Instagram, being inspired. Then spend ages looking for just the right pattern, fabric, and embellishments. Then stress about little mistakes made here and there.
But when all is said and done, it’s quicker and less stressful to just jump in, make a decision and get on with it.
And there are going to be mistakes, and unpicking, and little things that just need overlooking in order to finish.
I remember reading somewhere years ago, that quilters would purposefully make a mistake in their quilts, to remind them that only God is perfect.
I’d made about 5 quilts, and straight-line quilted them all and they look great. But I really liked the look of stippling, and wanted to try some free motion quilting on a quilt.
So I did some practicing on some quilty offcuts which didn’t turn out so great. Then a stellar person on IG (can’t remember which one now!) suggested that the best way to learn FMQ is to just practice on a whole quilt.
I had the top of my #beehiveswarm Tic Tac Toe quilt all made up and decided that I would use this quilt to be my practice quilt for stippling.
So off I went, and had a ball! I stippled like a crazy woman! There were pointy bits and crossovers and loopy little bits of thread where I got the foot caught in the stitches. But I loved it!
I’ve heard that if you can’t see the mistake in a quilt riding past it on a motorbike, then it’s good to go. So that’s what I did. And unless you look up close, my quilt looks spectacularly stippled (even if I do say so myself!)
Some quilts just beg for straight line quilting, which is still easier for me. But some quilts need something a little different. My Bloom Where You’re Planted quilt was one of these. So I decided to stipple this one – my second attempt.
And there are still pointy bits and crossovers and little loopy bits of thread. But overall, a better attempt than that first one. And again, I loved it and was so glad that I didn’t let my inexperience or fear of mistakes stop me going ahead.
I’m sure my third attempt will be even better.
Till next time,
1Big Magic audiobook – written and narrated by Elizabeth Gilbert